Research Profile: Sidhu Gangadharan, MD

Sidhu Gangadharan, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School 



Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Interventional Pulmonology, BIDMC

Research Group

Daniel Buitrago, MD
Oliver Chow, MD
Michael Kent, MD
Mark Maxfield, MD
Ben Scott, MD
Rani Singh, PhD
Richard Whyte, MD
Jennifer Wilson, MD
Jenny Yu, MD

Research Focus

I perform clinical outcomes research that spans the range of thoracic diseases, but with a particular interest in tracheobronchomalacia (TBM). To date, our department maintains the largest TBM registry in the United States, which has enabled us to develop current guidelines and analyze outcomes for medical, endoscopic, and surgical therapy. Through this analysis, we hope to delineate best care practices through refined patient selection methods and improved medical, endoscopic, and surgical techniques. In the last year, we have partnered with the laboratory of Richard Cummings, PhD, to expand the scope of our research to include examination of the pathogenesis of this entity—specifically the potential role of glycan-binding proteins involved in immune regulation and TBM. A better understanding of this pathway and its relation to TBM could potentially lead to the development of novel therapies.

Additionally, we are currently evaluating the acoustical features of cough and respiratory sounds in patients with symptomatic, severe, diffuse TBM. By recording these features, we hope to define a unique acoustic signature and eventually investigate its diagnostic utility.

I have been investigating novel methods of staging lung cancer utilizing near-infrared imaging technology. I am the site PI for the “A Phase 2, Single dose, Open-Label, Exploratory Study to Investigate the Safety and Efficacy of OTL38 Injection for Intraoperative Imaging of Folate Receptor Positive Lung Nodules.” Patients enrolled in the study are administered a single dose of OTL38, a folate analog ligand conjugated with an indole cyanine-like green dye. During their procedure as indicated by standard of care, an imaging system equipped with near-infrared technology is used to aid in malignancy detection. We were the first in this study to enroll and plan to continue through 2018.

Accomplishments 2016-2017

  • The significance and management of excessive dynamic airway collapse: A pro/con debate, American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Annual Conference, Toronto, ON, 2017
  • Parenchymal-sparing approaches to lung metastases, Invited speaker and tumor board panelist, World Congress of Interventional Oncology annual meeting, Boston, MA, 2017
  • Technical aspects of tracheobronchoplasty for tracheobronchomalacia, Invited operative training session, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, 2017
  • What’s new for TBM 2017, Guest speaker, Tri-State Thoracic Society, Egg Harbor, WI, 2017
  • Complex airway surgery: Tracheobronchoplasty, Grand Rounds, Department of Anesthesia, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 2017
  • Advanced open esophageal and tracheal procedures, Course director, Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting, STS University Course, Houston, TX, 2017
  • Finding the right job and transitioning to practice, Course director, Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Residents Symposium, Houston, TX, 2017
  • Outstanding Filipino-American Physician Award, Philippine Medical Association of New England, 2017
  • GK 50 Honoree, List of Boston’s 50 Most Influential People of Color in Healthcare & Life Sciences, Calette Phillips Communications, Neighborhood Health Plan and Partners Healthcare, 2017
  • Boston’s Top Doctors, Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery, Castle Connolly and Boston Magazine, 2016 and 2017
  • While participating in the EMPROVE and LIBERATE Trials, the Interventional Pulmonary team identified a subgroup of patients for which endobronchial lung volume reduction by way of intrabronchial valves (IBVs) was not an option due to incomplete interlobar fissures. In 2016-2017, in collaboration with Spiration, Inc., we successfully showed complete targeted lobar collapse through a minimally invasive surgical stapling technique to complete interlobar fissures followed by IBV placement in both ex-vivo and live animal models. In 2018, we plan to transition this research to a pivotal human clinical trial in hopes of helping patients who would otherwise not be candidates for such treatment.

Teaching, Training, and Education

I have been involved in education administration for the Department of Surgery as the Program Director for Cardiothoracic Surgery and as an Assistant Program Director for the General Surgery Residency Program. From a teaching perspective, I deliver regular didactic sessions and simulation sessions for residents. On a national level, I present didactic lectures and hands-on training courses on complex tracheal diseases and surgical treatments.

Abstracts, Posters, and Exhibits

Alape D, Kheir F, Gangadharan S, Parikh M, Wilson J, Chee A, Majid A. Stent trial for expiratory central airway collapse: Does the type of stent really matter? CHEST Conference, Toronto, ON, 2017

Whyte RI, Beqari J, Ritzer L, Wilson JL, Gangadharan SP, Majid A, Kent MS. Should thoracic surgeons be doing EBUS and other advanced bronchoscopic cases? Western Thoracic Surgical Association, Colorado Springs, CO, 2017

Buitrago D, Majid A,  Alape D, Wilson J, Parik M,  Kent M, Gangadharan S. Single-center experience of tracheobronchoplasty for tracheobronchomalacia: Perioperative outcomes. Thirtieth Annual Meeting of the General Thoracic Surgical Club, Clearwater Beach, FL, 2017

Selected Publications

Castillo-Angeles M, Watkins AA, Acosta D, Frydman JL, Flier L, Garces-Descovich A, Cahalane MJ, Gangadharan SP, Atkins KM, Kent TS.  Mistreatment and the learning environment for medical students on general surgery clerkship rotations: What do key stakeholders think?  Am J Surg 2017;213(2):307-312.

Heidinger BH, Anderson KR, Moriarty EM, Costa DB, Gangadharan SP, VanderLaan PA, Bankier AA.  Size measurement and T-staging of lung adenocarcinomas manifesting as solid nodules ≤30 mm on CT: Radiology-Pathology correlation. Acad Radiol 2017;24(7):851-859.

Wilson JL, Whyte RI, Gangadharan SP, Kent MS. Teamwork and communication skills in cardiothoracic surgery. Ann Thorac Surg 2017;103(4):1049-1054.

Heidinger BH, Anderson KR, Nemec U, Costa DB, Gangadharan SP, VanderLaan PA, Bankier AA.  Lung adenocarcinoma manifesting as pure ground-glass nodules: Correlating CT size, volume, density, and roundness with histopathologic invasion and size.  J Thorac Oncol 2017;12(8):1288-1298.

Heidinger BH, Nemec U, Anderson KR, Costa DB, Gangadharan SP, VanderLaan PA, Bankier AA. "Rounding" the size of pulmonary nodules: Impact of rounding methods on nodule management, as defined by the 2017 Fleischner Society Guidelines. Acad Radiol 2017;24(11):1422-1427.

Assmann A, Vegh A, Ghasemi-Rad M, Bagherifard S, Cheng G, Sani ES, Ruiz-Esparza GU, Noshadi I, Lassaletta AD, Gangadharan S, Tamayol A, Khademhosseini A, Annabi N. A highly adhesive and naturally derived sealant. Biomaterials 2017;140:115-127.